ALBION—Winning the school’s first ever sectional title was not enough for Adams Central coach Cary Blake and his group of Lady Jets as they traveled to Central Noble and blanked the Lady Cougars, 5-0 to take the regional crown as well on Tuesday night.
After their sectional win over the perennially good Bishop Luers, the Lady Jets could have come into the regional matchup with little expectations. The first inning looked as though that may have been the case when the Jets had an error putting on the lead-off batter and then two singles that had eyes fell right in between Jets on the edge of the outfield to load the bases. There was an uneasy feeling in the crowd as the Lady Jets appeared to be flat and uneasy.
Sydnee Peterson was not.
The junior hurler for AC fought the next three batters hard and struck out the side to end the threat unscathed. It would be the only time in the game that the Lady Cougars would come close to scoring.
The Jets had just one hit in the first inning in the form of an Alyssa Keller triple that one-hopped the wall but the senior, who would go 3-3 in the game combined, would not score.
“That first inning was the turning point,” coach Blake stated after the game. “Sydnee got us out of a jam and then Alyssa going 3-3 was a big boost for us. We had some timely hits and our defense played well.”
In the second, Olivia Macklin hit a ball between Darby Roe on third and McKynzi Grayless at short that was misplayed to get on base. Madi Schwartz was up next for AC and the freshman would test the shortstop again with a hard hit ball that Grayless would mishandle and then throw away on the attempt at first. Macklin would seize the opportunity and score from second base for the Lady Jets’ first run.
AC would tack on two more runs in the third when Jenae Blackburn and Keller would hit back-to-back singles to start the rally. Jets’ first baseman Lindsey McDougall would smack a liner to left field that Haley Duncan of Noble would dive for and miss allowing the ball to go all the way to the fence. Blackburn and Keller would score easily but McDougall, who stumbled coming around third base would try to score but was tagged out ending the inning.
AC’s final two runs would come in the fifth inning against Duncan who came in relief of BreAnn Weeks who started the game for the Cougars. Mary Fox would draw a walk as Duncan’s first batter and Bess Fiechter would bring the top of the lineup back around with her only hit of the game, a slap bunt down the first base line putting runners on first and second. Keller would come through for AC one more time with a double that would score Fox. Fiechter would score on a wild pitch the next at-bat to make the score 5-0.